Are you the parent of a small child?

If so, it’s never too early to start thinking about oral healthcare services for children. After all, oral care is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for kids. The key is to establish good oral hygiene habits at a young age to help prevent dental problems in the future. 

There are two main types of dentists: pediatric dentistry vs general dentistry. Both focus on maintaining healthy teeth and gums, and yet there are some key differences. This is important for parents to be aware of when choosing a dentist in Lexington, KY.

Here we take a look at the key differences between these dental experiences. Keep reading to learn more.

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentistry is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of infants, children, and adolescents. A pediatric dentist is trained to manage the unique dental needs of young patients, including dental care for kids with special needs.

Education and Training

Pediatric dentists must undergo education and training beyond dental school. This training helps them to become experts in children’s dental care. They must complete a two to three-year residency program that includes specialized training.

This includes child psychology and behavior management. It also includes training in treating patients with special needs.

The additional training prepares pediatric dentists to understand the specific needs and concerns of young patients.

Oral Healthcare Services for Children

Pediatric dentists offer a wide range of services tailored to the needs of children. Specific oral healthcare services for children include:

  • Dental exams and cleanings
  • Fluoride treatments and dental sealants to prevent tooth decay
  • Orthodontic evaluations and treatments
  • Treatment for cavities and other dental problems
  • Emergency dental care

Pediatric dentists understand that young patients need a different approach than adults. They use smaller tools and equipment designed for children’s mouths. Plus, they’re trained to communicate in a tone that makes kids feel comfortable.

Comforting Environment

Pediatric dental offices are friendly and welcoming. They often have play areas and toys in the waiting room. This helps children feel more relaxed. Pediatric dentists and their staff work with children and help them feel at ease.

Behavioral Management

One of the most important roles of a pediatric dentist is to help children develop positive attitudes towards dental care. Pediatric dentists use a variety of behavioral management techniques to help children feel comfortable and relaxed during their appointments.

These techniques may include distraction techniques, such as telling stories or playing games, and positive reinforcement for good behavior.

Choosing a Dentist for Your Child

When choosing a dentist for your child, there are several factors to consider. The first is your child’s age and dental needs. If your child is very young or has special needs, a pediatric dentist may be the best choice to provide specialized care.

If your child is older and has no specific dental issues, a general dentist may be a good option.

General Dentistry

General dentistry focuses on maintaining oral health for people of all ages. General dentists provide a wide range of services, including preventive care, restorative treatments, and emergency dental care.

Education and Training

General dentists must complete a four-year dental program and pass a licensing exam to practice dentistry. While they don’t receive the specialized training in child psychology and behavior management that pediatric dentists do, they are trained to work with patients of all ages, including children.

Services Offered by General Dentists

General dentists offer many of the same services as pediatric dentists. This includes dental exams and cleanings, fluoride treatments, and treatment for cavities. But they may not offer orthodontic evaluations or treatments.

In these cases, they may refer patients to an orthodontist for specialized care.

Adult-Focused Environment

General dental offices are typically designed for adults and may not be as child-friendly as pediatric dental offices. While some general dentists may have toys or other amenities for children in their waiting rooms, they may not have the same level of child-friendly design as pediatric dental offices.

Patient Education

General dentists play an important role in educating their patients about the importance of good oral health habits. They may provide information about brushing and flossing techniques, the importance of a healthy diet for oral health, and other tips for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing the right type of dentist can depend on a variety of factors. This includes your child’s age, dental history, and comfort level.

A general dentist could be the right choice if you need a family dentist for both yourself and your kids. Many general dentists have experience in treating children. This enables them to provide a range of services for patients of all ages.

Location and convenience are also important considerations. It may be easier to choose a dentist who is close to your home. It’s also important to choose a dentist who listens to your concerns.

The most important thing is to find a dentist who you and your child feel comfortable with. The key is to make sure they can provide the dental care you need.

A Guide to Pediatric Dentistry vs General Dentistry

There’s nothing better than seeing your child smile. That’s why understanding the differences between pediatric dentistry vs general dentistry will help ensure that you pick the best one for your family’s needs.

Please contact us today to schedule an appointment for your child at Beaumont Kids Dentistry in Lexington, KY